Oct 10

NLDS Game Four, 2017

Nationals at Cubs, 2:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

This is the only game today, and it’s an elimination game for the Nats. They ask RHP Tanner Roark (13-11, 4.67 ERA) Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) to stop the Cubs, who have hardly been a juggernaut but have managed to get past excellent performances from the Nats’ aces Strasburg and Scherzer to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The Cubs counter with RHP Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA), who hurt a hamstring five weeks ago but had been 7-2 with a 1.79 ERA over the previous two months.

After much Sturm und Drang yesterday centered on Starsburg’s health and whether he was too queasy to pitch today on regular rest, apparently he recovered overnight. He’ll start today after all.

Yesterday in baseball history:

  • 1920 The Indians’ Bill Wambsganss becomes the only player in World Series history to complete an unassisted triple play when he makes a leaping catch, steps on second base, and then tags the [Dodger] runner arriving from first base. After the play, a dead calm engulfs Cleveland’s League Park as the hometown fans try to digest what they had just witnessed.
  • 1948 The largest crowd ever to attend a World Series game, 86,288 fans, jam into Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium to witness a showdown between two future Hall of Famers. Braves’ southpaw Warren Spahn beats Bob Feller and the Indians in Game 5 of the Fall Classic, 11-5.
  • 1968 Cardinal fireballer Bob Gibson sets the mark for total strikeouts (35) in a World Series, but loses the seventh and deciding game to ]Mickey Lolich and the] Tigers, 4-1.
  • 2009 The Dodgers advance to their second consecutive National League championship series, beating St. Louis 5-1 to complete a three-game sweep of the Redbirds in the NLDS. Solid pitching by late-season pick-up Vicente Padilla and timely hitting by Andre Ethier, who had three extra-base hits, and Manny Ramirez, who broke out of a slump with three hits and two RBIs, close out the series, which will be best remembered for the team’s dramatic Game 2 comeback when Matt Holliday’s error on James Loney’s ninth-inning two-out line drive leads to a stunning two-run walk-off rally.

Today in history:

  • 1978 Rookie right-hander Bob Welch strikes out Reggie Jackson with two men on base and two out in the top of the ninth inning, dramatically preserving a 4-3 Dodger victory over the Yankees in Game 2 of the Fall Classic. The relief performance will put the 21 year-old in the national spotlight.

Oct 06

NLDS Games One

First Game:Cubs at Nationals, 4:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Cubs’ RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA) faces off against RHP Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) of the Nationals. Hendricks started Games Three and Seven of last year’s World Series. In the final game he went 4 2/3 innings, gave up four hits and two runs and left without the decision. Strasburg didn’t pitch last postseason and famously sat out the 2012 playoffs as well. He made his only playoff start in 2014.

Second Game: Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Diamondbacks used both of their aces in the Wild Card Game, so they’ll ask RHP Taijuan Walker (9-9, 3.49 ERA) to get them of on the right foot against the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31). Walker was 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA against the Dodgers this season in three starts. Kershaw was 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA against the D-Backs this year. This will be Kershaw’s 18th playoff appearance; it will be Walker’s first.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 In Game 5 of the Fall Classic, Tiny Bonham goes the distance, limiting the Dodgers to just four hits to give the Yankees their 12th World Championship in franchise history. In one inning during the Bronx Bombers’ 3-1 victory at Ebbets Field, the New York fireballing right-hander will need just three pitches to retire the side.
  • 1949 In Game 2 of the World Series, only one run is scored again, but Preacher Roe and the Dodgers win this contest at Yankee Stadium, 1-0. Gil Hodges’ second inning single drives in Jackie Robinson to even up the Fall Classic at a game apiece.
  • 1959 The largest crowd ever to attend a major league game, 92,706 fans, watches a nail biter as White Sox hurler Bob Shaw beats Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 1-0, in Game 5 of the Fall Classic.
  • 1963 The Dodgers complete a four-game World Series sweep of the Yankees as Sandy Koufax wins his second game, 2-1. Frank Howard leads the offense with a home run and a single, the only two hits Whitey Ford gives up, and New York’s first baseman Joe Pepitone’s error (loses a thrown ball in the white-shirted crowd) leads to the decisive run in the seventh inning.
  • 1965“Hey, skip, bet you wish I was Jewish today, too.” – Don Drysdale, commenting after the game about his poor performance on the mound with manager Walt Alston. Sandy Koufax declines to pitch the first game of the World Series against the Twins because the game is scheduled on Yom Kippur, the most sacred of the Jewish holidays. As the Dodger southpaw attends shul and fasts on the Day of Atonement, Don Drysdale gives up seven runs in three innings in the team’s 8-2 loss at Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium.
  • 1966 Jim Palmer becomes the youngest player to pitch a shutout in the World Series when the 20 year-old Oriole right-hander blanks Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 6-0. The contest will become more memorable next month when Koufax surprises the baseball world by announcing his retirement, making this game his last major league appearance.
  • 1966 In the same Game Two loss to the Orioles at Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis establishes a World Series record by committing three errors in one game. The center fielder’s blunders come on two consecutive plays in the fifth inning, the first by losing a fly ball in the sun, then by dropping the next fly ball, followed by overthrowing third base.
  • 1980 In the 163rd game of the season, 35 year-old knuckleballer Joe Niekro earns his 20th victory, going the distance to defeat the Dodgers, 7-1, in the winner-take-all contest for the NL West. With the win, the Astros hold on to capture their first title in the 19-year history of the franchise after losing a season-ending three game series to LA, (3-2, 2-1, and 4-3) that forced the one-game playoff.

Lineup when available.

Sep 17

Game 149, 2017

Dodgers at Nationals, 5:00 PM PT, TV: ESPN

The Dodgers send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-7, 3.59 ERA) to the hill to face the Nats’ RHP Stephen Strasburg (13-4, 2.64 ERA).

The Dodgers held Ryu out of his last scheduled start as they juggle six pitchers in the rotation. He pitched well in his last game, holding Arizona to one run in six innings. Strasburg is on a 34-inning scoreless streak. How has each pitcher done against the opponent?

Strasburg has a 2.82 ERA in six career starts against the Dodgers and a 0.94 WHIP, allowing two earned runs or fewer in five of the starts. Ryu has made only one start against Washington, a loss when he allowed four runs in seven innings at home earlier this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1912 Casey Stengel of the Dodgers makes an impressive major league debut against the Pirates. The likable Brooklyn outfielder from Kansas City collects four hits, drives in two runs, and swipes a pair of bases.
  • 1963 Dodger ace Sandy Koufax tosses a four-hitter, blanking St. Louis at Sportsman’s Park, 4-0. The southpaw’s scoreless effort establishes a National League record for shutouts thrown by lefties in a season with 11, five shy of Grover Cleveland Alexander’s major league mark set in 1916 with the Phillies.
  • 1981 Dodgers southpaw Fernando Valenzuela ties White Sox freshman Ewell Russell’s 1913 rookie record when he hurls his eighth shutout of the season, blanking Atlanta on three hits. The 20 year-old Mexican’s 2-0 victory breaks the previous National League mark shared by Irving Young (Braves, 1905), Grover Cleveland Alexander (Phillies, 1911), and Jerry Koosman (Mets, 1968).
  • 1996 Dodger right-hander Hideo Nomo no-hits the Rockies, 9-0, at Coor Field, becoming the only big league hurler to accomplish the feat in the thin air of Denver. Tornado Boy’s performance in Colorado is the best-attended no-no and is the only hitless game with a paid attendance of more than 50,000 fans.

  • 2010 Joe Torre, who will compile a 2326-1997 (.538) managerial record during his 30 seasons as a skipper with the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees, and Dodgers, announces he will be retiring at the end of the month. Los Angeles immediately hires the team’s hitting coach Don Mattingly to replace the 70 year-old.
  • 2014 Jason DeGrom strikes out the first eight batters he faces in the Mets’ 6-5 loss in Miami, tying the modern-day major league mark to start a game. The Amazins’ rookie right-hander now shares the record with Jim Deshaies, who struck out the first eight Dodgers he faced with the Astros in a 1986 contest.

A whole lot of interesting things happened on this date in baseball history; take a look.

Lineup:

Jun 14

Game 66, 2017

Dodgers at Indians, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, Sportstime Ohio, MLBN (out-of-market only)

Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 3.28 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Corey Kluber (5-2, 4.38 ERA) pitches for the Indians.

McCarthy credits much of his success this year (his ERA is at a five-year low) to a newfound reliance on his cutter. He’s now throwing one nearly 32 percent of the time, up from 13 percent the previous three seasons. “I noticed that even bad ones were better than they had been in the past,” McCarthy said. This will be Kluber’s third start since coming off the 10-day DL (lower back strain). In his last two starts he threw six innings in each game, with 18 strikeouts, three walks and just three runs allowed. Before his trip to the DL he gave up seven homers in six starts; he hasn’t given up one since he came back from it.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2003 After being activated from the disabled list by the Dodgers, first baseman Fred McGriff bats cleanup and goes 2-for-4 in his return against the Padres. It was the Crime Dog’s first trip to the DL during his 18-year career.
  • 2010 After just seven days in the major leagues, Stephen Strasburg is named National League Player of the Week. The Nationals’ right-handed flame thrower starts his career 2-0 with 22 strikeouts, second to only Karl Spooner, who fanned five more batters in his first two major league starts with the Dodgers in 1954.

Lineup:

Jun 07

Game 61, 2017

Nationals at Dodgers, 12:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN, MLBN (out-of-market only)

This looks like a wonderful pitcher’s duel, so each pitcher will probably be shelled and out of the game by the third inning. It’s RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-1, 2.91 ERA) going for the Nats and LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.28 ERA) for the Dodgers. These two were supposed to meet last year during the regular season but Strasburg strained his upper back and was scratched.

Strasburg has won his last three starts, striking out 33 and putting up a 1.33 ERA. Kershaw hasn’t had a decision in his last three starts.

Alex Wood will come off the DL this weekend and take either Maeda’s or Ryu’s spot in the rotation. In another bit of intriguing news, Eibner has thrown six bullpen sessions.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1954 Dodger catcher Roy Campanella steals home in the top of the 12th inning in a 7-5 victory over St. Louis at Sportsman’s Park. Campy had added an insurance run with an eighth inning round-tripper, but the Redbirds scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score.
  • 1957 Howard University awards honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recently retired Dodgers infielder Jackie Robinson. In the coming years, the former baseball great and the Baptist minister will often appear together at Civil Rights rallies, fundraising events, and demonstrations.
  • 1982 Joining Lou Gehrig, Everett Scott, Billy Williams, and Joe Sewell, Dodger infielder Steve Garvey becomes only the fifth player in major league history to play in 1,000 consecutive games. The first baseman, establishing a National League record, will appear in 1207 consecutive games, before the streak ends next season when he breaks his thumb in a collision at home plate, playing for the Padres.

Lineup when available.

Jul 21

Game 97, 2016

Dodgers at Nationals, 9:05AM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN 2, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers’ rotation injuries have forced them to bring young Julio Urias (1-2, 4.95 ERA) back up from AAA OKC, where he’s only thrown one inning since he was sent down on July 5. He’ll have an easy task in front of him; keep the Dodgers in the game against Stephen Strasburg, who’s 13-0 on the year with a 2.51 ERA.

Somebody post the lineup in the comments when it’s published.

Jun 20

Game 72, 2016

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN 2, ESPN

The hype has already begun for this game, and it’s only natural. Washington’s Stephen Strasburg hasn’t lost a game yet this year while winning ten; Los Angeles’s Clayton Kershaw has lost one game while also winning ten. In ERA Kershaw has the edge, giving up a measly 1.58 earned runs per nine innings; Strasburg has given up 2.90 earned runs per nine innings.

The Dodgers may activate Yasiel Puig today. If they do they’ll have to send someone down to OKC. Update: Nope, tomorrow, says Roberts.

In other news:

Lineup when available.

Oct 03

NLDS Day One, 2014

Giants at Nationals, 12:00PM PT, TV: FS1

The Giants start 13-year veteran Jake Peavy, the mid-season acquisition who was 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA for the Red Sox but 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA when he got back to the National League with the Giants. Their ace, Bumgarner, pitched and won the wild card game on Wednesday and won’t be available until Game 3 of this series on Monday. The Nationals have had their rotation set for two weeks, and tomorrow they start Stephen Strasburg, who was 14-11 with a 3.14 ERA this season. He’ll be making his postseason debut; in a controversial move the Nats’ management shut him down before the season ended in 2012, the last time the Washington team made the playoffs. (They missed the wild card by four games last season, and Strasburg was recovering from Tommy John surgery anyway).

Cardinals at Dodgers, 3:30PM PT, TV: FS1

Clayton Kershaw vs. Adam Wainwright. The best pitching matchup of any of these four series. We could see a double no-hitter.

Can Molina stop Dee Gordon and the other Dodger base stealers? Can the Dodgers keep from going into another hitting slump like they did last year?

We’ll find out this afternoon.

May 07

Game 35, 2014

Dodgers at Nationals, 10:05AM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN

Dan Haren’s off to a great beginning with the Dodgers. He’s 4-0 with a 2.39 ERA in six starts. He’ll face Stephen Strasburg, who’s 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA so far this season.

Is Carl Crawford finally coming out of his season-long slump? He’s had two multi-hit games and has a four-game hitting streak going into today’s game.